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Thesis

Acculturation and disclosure to parents about romantic relationships in Asian American adolescents and young adults: a review of the literature

2 May 2012

Abstract

In 2008, approximately 15.5 million United States residents identified as being either full or part Asian, representing roughly 5% of the total US population. This number is expected to more than double to 40.6 million or 9% of the total U.S. population by 2050. Given this substantial growth, it is important to further research that involves this population. There is a paucity of research that investigates the extent to which Asian American adolescents and young adults disclose to their parents about their romantic relationships. Acculturation, conceptualized as a process of cultural modification in which an individual adapts to or borrows traits from the dominant culture of the society where one resides, likely has an impact on the level of adolescent and young adult disclosure. In general, Asian cultural values involve conformity to norms, such as collectivism and filial piety. An individual’s level of acculturation and adherence to Asian cultural values likely impacts participation in romantic relationships as these values tend to emphasize a more traditional view toward romantic interpersonal relationships. In addition, acculturation and adherence to Asian cultural values likely impacts level of adolescent and young adult disclosure to parents about their romantic relationships. This paper examines the extant literature on acculturation, romantic relationships, and disclosure to parents in Asian American adolescents and young adults. In addition, gaps in the existing research are highlighted. Future research should address how an individual’s level of acculturation and perceived parental acculturation influence disclosure about romantic relationships.


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